|Lost in the sun|
Author: Graff, Lisa
As Trent Zimmerman struggles to move past a traumatic event that took place several months earlier, he befriends class outcast Fallon Little, who helps him understand that he can move on.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 174053
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 66086
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/15)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/15)
Booklist (+) (03/15/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (09/15)
The Hornbook (00/05/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2015 *Starred Review* Middle school is tough, but try getting through sixth grade after accidentally killing someone with a hockey puck. Such is Trent Zimmerman’s misfortune. Wracked with guilt and anger, he is never without his “Book of Thoughts,” the sketchbook where he draws the awful images he can’t get out of his brain. Sure that everyone hates him, Trent acts out at school, shuts out friends, and is overcome by sweaty panic at the thought of playing sports again. Life is difficult at home, too, where his parents’ divorce has resulted in a contentious relationship with his father. Relief comes in the eccentric form of Fallon Little, a girl with a mysterious scar and an indomitable spirit. But Fallon has her secrets as well. The emotions and motivations coursing through this novel are wonderfully complex. Graff creates layered, vulnerable characters who are worth getting to know and rooting for. Narrated by the moody, sarcastic Trent, the story never buckles beneath his troubles, and it finds wings once he can see beyond them. Pranks, The Sandlot reenactments, sports talk, and doughnuts are in plentiful supply, adding dashes of levity at the right moments. The book’s real magic is found in simple acts like watering plants and learning when to listen and when to just tip your head back and scream at the sky. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 4–8—Trent Zimmerman is consumed by rage. The universe has been manifestly unfair to him and he doesn't know how to handle it. Seven months ago, he struck a hockey puck at a bad angle, sending it like a missile into the chest of a boy with a previously undiagnosed heart ailment. That boy died and Trent feels responsible. And he's furious about it. He can no longer bring himself to play sports (at which he used to excel) since he has panic attacks any time he tries. He's sure everyone hates him, except maybe for his mom and his older brother, and he doesn't blame them. His father and stepmother seem to prefer his brothers and he thinks that's understandable. He tries to expel his morbid, angry thoughts by drawing in a journal. He doesn't know if that makes things better. He feels like a screwup, so he deliberately screws up even more. And makes more people angry with him, which is what he feels he deserves. Into this maelstrom comes Fallon, a fellow sixth-grader whose face bears a large and mysterious scar. For some reason, she seems to like spending time with Trent and—almost against his will—he starts to like spending time with her. Graff takes readers through Trent's gradual process of coming to terms with the tragic accident and his recognition that, while he can't change the past, he can control his present behavior to influence his future. While Trent makes multiple bad decisions and his impulsivity is a constant liability, he's also funny, sensitive, and kind. Fallon is a firecracker and the two of them are a lot of fun together. It's a mark of Graff's skill that readers can easily discern and appreciate complexities behind the behaviors of every character in the novel without having them explicitly delineated. VERDICT Weighty matters deftly handled with humor and grace will give this book wide appeal.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2015 Until Trent accidentally hit a hockey puck into his friend Jared’s chest that resulted in Jared’s death from an undiagnosed heart defect, he was an athletic, happy guy who lived for pulling pranks with his brothers. Between his dad’s blockheaded reaction, the ostracism of his former friends, and his own guilt, though, he’s become an angry boy who alienates anyone who might help. On the advice of his school counselor, he draws his thoughts in a journal, but the practice isn’t helping; if anything, the scenarios he draws of all the ways Jared might have nearly died but instead was saved by Trent are keeping his obsessions alive. When a girl named Fallon rescues him from some bullies, he tries to reject her friendship, but since she’s the only one who’ll talk to him, he ends up accepting her company. Fallon is haunted by her own demons; her face is marked by a wicked-looking scar, and she makes up stories about how she got it, never revealing the truth. As their friendship develops, Trent eventually triggers Fallon’s traumatic memories by beating up another kid. This catalyzes his road to recovery, however, as he works to find creative ways to make amends. Characterization is thoughtful: Graff is highly sensitive to a sixth-grade boy’s limited emotional savvy and lack of tools to deal with this kind of pain, and Fallon is believably sympathetic in her love of baseball movies and her understanding of the loneliness of trauma. With the exception of Trent’s father, each of the secondary characters is wise enough to know that Trent has to work this out on his own; their support is subtle and credible, as work it out he does. KC - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.